The adjacent Kontorhaus district is a cohesive, densely built area featuring very large office complexes that were built from the 1920s to the 1950s to house businesses engaged in port-related activities. Together, these neighbouring districts represent an outstanding example of a combined warehouse-office district associated with a port city.
Anchored by the iconic Chilehaus, the Kontorhaus district's massive office buildings stand out for their early Modernist brick-clad architecture and their unity of function.
The Chilehaus, Messberghof, Sprinkenhof, Mohlenhof, Montanhof, former Post Office Building at Niedernstrasse 10, Kontorhaus Burchardstrasse 19-21 and Miramar-Haus attest to architectural and city-planning concepts that were emerging in the early 20th century.
Yet, in contrast to office block architecture of the 1920s and 1930s elsewhere in the world, which was characterised by the Beaux-Arts style or other historicised forms, the office block buildings in Hamburg’s Kontorhaus district already displayed modern clinker façades in expressionist and the new objectivity architectural forms which, particularly in the Chilehaus and the Sprinkenhof, achieved an almost unsurpassable degree of virtuosity in terms of design and craftsmanship. Furthermore, the Chilehaus by Fritz Höger is regarded as an icon of architectural expressionism with its tip reminiscent of a ship's bow and characteristic detailing of its façades.